Want to invest in your future but don't know how?
Cofounder and CMO of @dalalstreet.ai
Tarini Gupta is a graduate of the Warwick Business School and expertises in consumer behaviour, customer acquisition, marketing and public relations. She is a dedicated advocate for encouraging and enabling the financial independence of women.
A budding public and motivational speaker, Tarini aims to shed light on the importance of incorporating human psychology and connect at the workplace and professional spheres.
Dalalstreet.ai is a FinTech startup that uses AI powered algorithms to provide the best buy and sell advice to our clients. It is India’s first trading platform that uses sentimental analysis
Below she answers some of our burning questions with regards to investment and personal finance :
1. Can you recommend some helpful finance apps for tracking my expenses and maintaining a budget?
Tracking expenses and budgeting is key to financial management. Without practicing these two disciplines very precisely it is almost impossible to manage your money. This is really all about being aware, the first step is to be aware of exactly where your funds are going, what you are spending on a daily run - then according to where you see excess expenditure you start cutting down or budgeting. This is where you get a good idea of how much you can start saving and redirect it from those expenses that may be unnecessary.
There are a bunch of apps for budgeting and forecasting daily expenses - however, it is not true that they are always valuable. This is something that differs from person to person. Some may find it easier to go traditional and keep a note in a diary but this may be inefficient. The apps I would recommend for basic use would be :
Goodbudget: takes into account your expenses, income and saving and visually shows what proportion you are spending on what vs. your income and savings .
Money manager: is a very common one amongst the youngsters too! Here you can even set reminders to add expenses on busy days where you may forget.
My wallet: is also great, it sketches up pie charts to decipher between your expenditures and incomes - good way to picture your financial position.
2. If I want to start trading, what would be some good places to start with? For learning & for opening a Demat account, both.
The most ideal would be to find a mentor and guide who is experienced in the field to guide you through the process and prerequisites of trading - if not there are valuable resources available online. Dalal street.ai social media channels for one is a place to gather more knowledge in this area!
Be certain about who you select as a broker as brokerage charges are always there and may be significantly high with certain ones - they will guide you through creating your demat account and getting you started. If you wish to go for a discount broker go with zerodha, upstox or angel broking or else ICICI Direct has a great customer service as well.
3. The amount I save right now is negligible. Will my savings matter in the future?
Yes of course your savings will matter in the future. Every single penny you save today will add up to a decent amount in the future. As they say, every drop makes a difference, the smallest of your savings will definitely make a difference in the future - always remember everything started from nothing! It not only is about the amount of savings but the discipline and practice you start creating in your life - it's honestly a way of life you start incorporating.
4. How do you measure wealth? Do the number of things you own make you rich?
Absolutely not, in my opinion! It is the value of the ‘things you own’, its use cases, its condition/maintenance and its resale value. The main measure of wealth is to see how much what you have currently, can make you in the future.
Also - your mindset. You may have in abundance but if you do not treat it well and spend it wisely you may be left with nothing.
5. How do you know when to not take a loan?
You must think several times before taking a loan, if you are not 200% sure with hard evidence that you will be able to generate the repayment when required - avoid it! Or else, create a roadmap and a plan that will ensure you are able to do so. When you don’t have a fixed income to repay an already existing loan it will land you into a debt trap. Also, having a poor credit score will be a deterrent to take a loan.
6. Are there any online courses on managing personal finance that you would recommend?
Udemy is a great platform for not only courses on personal finances but also trading/trading for beginners. Coursera too has a wide range of personal financial management courses curated for different age groups and audiences.
This list actually has my favourite courses on them that i have completed.
7. What can I do to improve my credit rating?
Improving your credit score can take months or years but most definitely it can improve slightly over weeks - the aim is to build your credibility by mainly paying bills before/on time. You have to show lenders you're a reliable borrower, and capable of handling credit responsibly.
Pro-Tip : Pay off as many debts as you are able and reduce balances to the minimum.
8. How do I decide portfolio allocation between stocks and debt?
Debt means a loan, while equity means shareholders and issuing stock. Debts are Term loans, Debentures, Bonds etc and are often considered to be less risky as compared to equity. Equity consists of stocks and shares.
Almost all the beginners suffer from this confusion whether the debt financing would be better or equity financing is suitable. To decide your portfolio allocation you need to first understand your risk appetite and the length of investing or trading you are aiming to go for. I was told this interesting concept once -"the thumb rule, i.e. your allocation to debt funds must be equal to your age. In other words, to find your equity allocation, subtract your current age from 100. It means that as you grow older, your asset allocation needs to move from equity funds to debt funds" - so try this out and if its success for you do reach out and let me know!
9. How important is life insurance for finance?
Life insurance is an important aspect. Even though there are many misconceptions about life insurance, it is important to take it. If the bread owner of the family passes away, if he/she had taken a life insurance policy, it would help the family financially as the sum assured will be paid to them. It even offers survival benefit and maturity benefit depending on the type of policy you take. ULIP offers insurance and investment so one can get a return too. It is important in multiple ways and must be considered!
10. What changes is investing decisions should one make during this time of the pandemic?
One thing that the pandemic has taught us is patience. Patience is the key to earn a good return in the stock market, especially in the times of COVID as the market fluctuations have been very drastic.
11. Do you have any advice for people with no regular income/students/freelancers who might be hesitant about investing?
First and foremost, only enter the trading or investing world if you are keen on it. Do not do so due to peer pressure. If you are keen but hesitant, always start with very very small amounts and always start investing in the secure companies - once you see the gain of a few rupees translate to a few hundred and so on .. your confidence will build.
We have built a platform called dalalstreet.ai for individuals like yourself - our algorithm does the hard work for you - fundamental, technical and sentimental analysis. We also offer a plethora of training materials and a helping hand through our support team to beginners.
12. What would be the best and safest investment for a person who draws Rs.50000 salary and saves Rs.20000?
There is honestly no correct answer for a question like this - it is dependent on various factors. However, I would suggest to start investing with Rs. 1000 per month - understand your risk appetite, your gain trends and build on your knowledge.
We can't wait to get investing, we hope that for you too Tarini was able to provide some much needed clarity about the same!